Newborn Care - New parents are excited and often confused about what they need to do in bringing up their child. Some pointers given here can lead them on the right track.
Looking after the newborn for the first few days after arrival can be worrisome for the new parents. On becoming a first time parent, you are full of questions about caring for your baby. You are circumspect about giving him a bath or anything that makes you feel that something can go wrong with the little one. You might be a confident individual in everything else that you do but this situation can make the best of us nervous! In this article, Onlymyhealth presents you with the top 10 questions new parents ask alongwith the answers. This is an effort to make your task of newborn care a little easier.
1) Am I holding my newborn correctly? Can I be straining him?
You should rest your newborn on your shoulder by supporting his back and head turned on one side or by keeping him on his front with his head on your wrist and legs on each side of your arm. Ways of holding a baby can vary from person to person. So, if someone says that your way is not right as he or she did it differently, do not be too bothered.
2) How should I give a bath to my newborn and when?
You might have been told and shown how to bath your baby in your hospital. Your midwife can make you learn the same with a demonstration at home. A bath to your newborn can be given right away or after a few days, depending on what you are comfortable with. A plastic baby bath tub is good enough for your infant till he is 4 months old. When giving the bath, make sure that the water is the right temperature. You can test it by dipping your elbow in it or using a baby bath thermometer. There is another way of bathing your baby. Take warm water in a bowl and clean the baby by using it with baby lotion and flannel. A word of caution about baby bathing – Never leave him unattended during a bath.
3) Why are there spots on my baby's skin?
You might have expected your baby to have a smooth, soft and clear skin without a blemish but that is mostly not the case. The baby is likely to have spots on his skin which are called milia. It is usually no cause for concern because it goes away without treatment in a few days. If they linger for longer than 2 to 3 weeks, consult with your midwife or General Physician (GP).
4) How to make my baby latch on to the breast?
The most important thing when trying breastfeeding your baby is to help him latch on to the breast. You need to get your positioning correct. You need to ensure that your areola is completely inside the baby’s mouth. After that, the position of the tongue needs to be underneath the nipple. The lower lip below the tongue should be slightly pulled back to aid in sucking.
5) How can I tell if my baby's receiving enough milk?
Unless you are bottle feeding, it is not easy to determine the amount of milk that the baby has drunk. To judge whether a breastfed baby is getting enough milk, you can get him weighed by the medical pratictioner. He can tell whether the baby weighs normal or not. This is generally a sign of proper nourishment besides other signs like baby being content between feeds, sleeping soundly and wetting 6 to 8 nappies in a day.
6) What's the best way to make my baby burp?
Making your baby burp is a way to help him get rid of gas in his tummy. It is advisable to encourage your baby to burp during feeds even though he does not have a problem of abdominal gas. In order to make him burp, sit him on your lap and gently press his back or hold him over your shoulder and rub his back gently. You can also use muslin for this because the baby is likely to throw up some milk.
7) My baby’s nappy rashes are getting from bad to worse. How do I get rid of them?
Nappy rashes are quite common and can look sore. It is always possible that your baby wet his nappy and before you realised it, his urine affected the skin. It is most important when looking to cure nappy rash to ensure that his nappy area is dry. Do not use talcum powder or soap on the affected area but use a non bio washing powder instead. Use a barrier cream on the baby's skin only if it is not broken.
8) How can I tell if my baby is sick?
There are several signs which suggest that a baby’s health is not good. If he feels hotter than usual, has lost his appetite, is vomiting, has rashes that are lingering for too long or seems too slow and ungainly, you should consult your doctor or call your GP.
9) How can I get rid of my baby’s cradle cap?
Cradle caps are yellowish crusts that get formed on a baby’s scalp. This condition is caused by oily skin. You can soften these crusts by applying some olive oil or using cradle cap cream on the affected area. Leave it overnight and you will be able to brush them off the scalp next morning. Other than being an ugly spot, cradle caps are not something to worry about. You baby will not be in any discomfort because of it.
10) Why is my baby losing his hair?
This is again a very normal occurrence. Your baby might have been born with a fair sprinkling of hair or no hair at all. However, it can fall out but will be replaced very soon. Those babies who sleep on their back are likely to lose the hair on their back of their head as it gets rubbed off. It is nothing to worry about as they will grow back soon.
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